Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)

INRA is a leading European research institute for agricultural, food and related environmental research.  Three research units and one experimental unit of INRA are contributing to this project.  The IRNA research team in WATBIO conduct research into forest and plantation tree species.  They have particular expertise in ecophysiology, population and molecular genetics, as well as genomics and genetic dissection of complex traits.  The INRA provides facilities for fundamental research in forestry, including a GMO S2-greenhouse, an automated water deficit control system and tree nurseries as well as facilities for stable isotope, proteome and transcriptome analyses.

The Forest Ecology and Ecophysiology Unit conducts multi-scale research (from gene expression to forest ecosystems functioning) on short and long-term effects of environmental constraints, especially water deficit, on tree functioning and growth, water and carbon cycles, forest species distributions and their temporal changes. The objective is to understand and improve adaptations of tree and forest ecosystems to their present and future environment. The unit contributes to WP1 - conducting the Populus drought core-experiment as well as the ecophysiological measurements; analysing root growth responses; up-scaling WUE to young trees. The Unit collaborates with other partners for RNA-Seq analysis.

The Tree-Microbe Interactions Unit aims to improve knowledge and understanding of the interactions that take place between trees, fungi and bacteria, and that contribute to the sustainable functioning of forest ecosystems. The main objective is to combine the deep analysis of biological models and the study of complex environments. The Unit is a partner of the FP7 European project ENERGYPOPULUS.

The Biodiversity, Genes and Communities Unit comprises population, quantitative and evolutionary geneticists, plant pathologists, entomologists and ecologists. Their research activities address the analysis and evolution of biological diversity in terrestrial ecosystems, with particular emphasis on temperate forest ecosystems. The Unit conducts proteomic analysis within WP1.

The Experimental Unit devoted to the management and technical set-up of experiments in forest ecosystems and controlled areas. It is involved in the set up of experiments on biomass production for energy on Populus, black locust and on pine.  The unit has four greenhouses and a forest nursery for studies requiring controlled conditions.

The INRA staff involved are Marie-Béatrice Bogeat-Triboulot, Irène Hummel, Oliver Brendel, Didier Le Thiec, Valérie Legué, Christophe Plomion.